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Episode 125: Creating Digital Cookbooks on the Prepear Platform With Natalie and Russ Monson

Blog Title: Prepear

Social Media:

Prepear on Instagram

Prepear on Facebook

About: Prepear is a connected recipe platform for food bloggers to diversify their revenue streams while giving their readers the best digital recipe experience.

Notes from Episode #125: Creating Digital Cookbooks on Prepear

Fun fact: Russ and Natalie had a race in their entrepreneurial businesses and Natalie’s food blogging business won so they have been working together to grow it together!

Natalie joined Megan in episode #79 and shared about the Prepear platform and how food bloggers can join.

Today Megan is diving into one specific feature of Prepear. It can help food bloggers diversify their income by selling digital cookbooks on the platform.

The real motivation for building Prepear was platform was that Natalie and Russ generating more revenue from the Prepear site and selling meal plans than they did from ad revenue.

The readers asked for more from Russ and Natalie which they couldn’t do without the help of other bloggers. So that was the motivation behind creating Prepear – providing a solution to the audiences needs!

There’s a lot of steps in creating digital cookbooks yourself.

  • Having the ability to have one place from start to finish a digital cookbook with your recipes, you need multiple software solutions.
  • You can build it yourself or you might need the help of a graphic designer to create graphics and get the layout how your audience needs it.
  • Once you have that figured out, you have to have software to put it up for sale and sell it, and a format to collect payment.
  • You’re not done there – you have to deliver it! This can be sent as a pdf via email. But the usability isn’t great for your audience. People aren’t inclined to print a big cookbook and have it laying around either.
  • Now you should be marketing it. Are you the only one actively promoting it? Selling is very different from promoting your recipes you’re sharing.
  • There’s a lot of steps, a lot of work from start to finish to get it available and in your readers hands.

To create a digital cookbook on Prepear, you simply start by getting your recipes onto the platform. You can organize your recipes like you do a Pinterest board so it’s topical. From there, creating a cookbook comes together just by organizing the recipes. The software is helping you compile the digital cookbook behind the scenes almost.

You can create the cookbook and segment it, you can add photos and descriptions on how to use the recipes. Sales pages are created by this effort. It gives your readers a great experience.

Sales pages are built automatically as you add content to Prepear which is less intimidating than just thinking about starting a cookbook from scrach.

Another benefit is that Prepear is simultaneously marketing these prepared digital cookbooks in their marketplace and in their newsletter. The existing users in Prepear can get started right away. This is before you’re even promoting it to your audience.

Determining success with a cookbook is less about a link for selling then how well your cookbook solves a problem for your audience and how much they connect with you. Relevancy is so important.

Prepear Gold is an annual subscription available to Prepear consumers annually for $60. 80% of the revenue is shared with the food blogging community. The Gold level gives a consumer access to all of the cookbooks, meal plans and recipes available ad free on the Prepear site. Then, when a reader uses any of the content on any of the formats that Prepear offers, they turn around and it give the revenue to you as the blogger.

Pricing – Russ and Natalie have done extensive research on this and have quite a bit of knowledge about how pricing works. You might think, it’s a no brainer to buy a cookbook at $5 but really, you’re telling your consumers it’s not valuable when you do that. So a cookbook or meal plan can’t be more than $60 on Prepear but it can’t be sold for less than $10. You want to sell your cookbook for what it’s sold in the stores. $20 is a good rate and add content until its valuable. However, sales of Prepear Gold is the best way to grow your revenue through Prepear because after just a couple of sales of cookbooks, its more valuable

Bloggers who sell their cookbooks in connection with Prepear Gold sell 5x as much as those who just focus on their own content and cookbook sales.

It’s important to establish your content as valuable to your readers.

Prepear offers a Quickstart guide for bloggers on how to sell content on Prepear to their audience.

1- Get your content on Prepear and create a profile.

2- Start creating your products. Create 1, 2 or 3 cookbooks. Then reference their pricing guidelines to help get them priced accurately.

3- Marketing and integrating Prepear onto your site. There’s a Prepear plugin available as well so your audience is familiarized with what Prepear is so that when you message them about Prepear, they already were aware of the platform.

Prepear is a small team but what’s important to them is that it’s built by food bloggers for food bloggers. But Prepear wants the input of the food blogging community and they want and are listening to your feedback so it can be addressed or implemented. They want to make it what you need it to be not what they want it to be.

The structure of the cookbooks is rigid right now, with one layout available. Prepear works with a small team and they are building other aspects of the platform right now. However, they do have plans to open up other layouts for a cookbook to choose from.

If you have content that is not on your website, you can manually add it to Prepear so that its able to be used in a cookbook you’re featuring.

Once you’re on Prepear and you are creating content for your audience, you can begin to use other content of bloggers within your content to do a collaboration and then cross market this content to each of your audiences.

Prepear wants to give out realistic expectations for bloggers joining their platform. When you create a digital cookbook on Prepear, it’s not the same as marketing and selling it on bigger platforms like Amazon, which is a huge beast. Everything requires a little bit of work so it takes promotion on both Prepear’s part as well as you, the food blogger.

The size of your audience and niche will impact your revenue earned too. However, the range of possibilities is really up to you based on your commitment to promoting it and selling. This isn’t an overnight sensation type of income but those that are putting effort into it, over time, are seeing revenue grow over time. You can take one step at a time. Figure one part out, experiment with it. You will see success build over time.

Not everything sold is sold well. Just like not every piece of content you create knocks it out of the park. You just have to go in with the mindset that it can be a fun process and it can grow.

You want to look at your content and see what your readers like and build a digital cookbook from there. But the number one way to know what to create is really just ASK YOUR READERS. Put this out to your audience, very directly, with the question “what do you need” is always going to be enlightening and helpful to you.

Also use Google analytics top 10 posts and find trends. There are usually 3-4 posts that are in the same vein and once you find that theme, you’ll know where to grow from there.

Russ’s advice: Work on building a system that can produce income that’s diverse and withstand the test of time. If you can get into the habit of building these products and selling them and overtime get to selling subscriptions to your content, you’ll have a sustainable revenue stream that will always take work but will an element of passivity to it as well.

It’s so important to frame all of the things that you’re going through in a positive light. This helps you to keep going, allow you to have more optimism as you take steps forward. As you cross a problem, you can see this as an opportunity vs just a problem.

If a customer reaches out with a problem, this is an opportunity for you to get more information and learn how to solve the problem for them and grow your business too. But if you frame your day to day issues negatively, you won’t be motivated to keep going. This will help you enjoy the journey and keep on going.

Helpful references from the episode:

Prepear.com/food-bloggers to find out how Prepear works for bloggers and fill out an application.

[email protected] – if you are interested in joining the technical team!

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